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Eur J Biochem. 1988 Dec 15;178(2):519-25.

Electron-transport-driven sodium extrusion during methanogenesis from formaldehyde and molecular hydrogen by Methanosarcina barkeri.

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Institut für Mikrobiologie der Georg-August-Universität, Göttingen, Federal Republic of Germany.


Methanogenesis from formaldehyde or formaldehyde + H2, as carried out by Methanosarcina barkeri, was strictly dependent on sodium ions whereas methane formation from methanol + H2 or methanol + formaldehyde was Na+-independent. This indicates that the reduction of formaldehyde to the formal redox level of methanol exhibits a Na+ requirement. During methanogenesis from formaldehyde, a delta pNa in the range of -62 mV to -80 mV was generated by means of a primary, electron-transport-driven sodium pump. This could be concluded from the following results obtained on cell suspensions of M. barkeri. 1. The addition of proton conductors or inhibitors of the Na+/H+ antiporter had no effect on sodium extrusion. 2. During methanogenesis from formaldehyde + H2 a delta psi of -60 mV to -70 mV was generated even in the presence of proton conductors. 3. ATPase inhibitors, applied in the presence of proton conductors, had no effect on primary sodium extrusion or generation of a delta psi. Evidence for a Na+-translocating ATPase could not be obtained.

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